Below are all the review posts I have written covering the Nokia Lumia 925.
Myself and Dave Rich of UKMobileTech have both moved our sims into Window Phones and intend to use them exclusively for the next 7 days. Dave is using a Nokia Lumia 925 and myself a Nokia Lumia 820.
We both have used Windows Mobile phones in the past, but now its time to see how the new software updates improve the experience.
To recap on my reviews of the Nokia Lumia 620, 925, 1020 and now 820, click above into the Reviews page for all the links.
Thanks to @Nokia_Connects for the loan of the phones.
If you scroll back to yesterday, you will have read about the flexibility of the home screen live tiles on Windows Phone with my Nokia Lumia 925.
But how do you access all your applications.
Well from the home screen you swipe right to left to bring up the app list as shown above. Now if you are like me and have installed many apps, scrolling down to TuneIn Radio would be a lot of scrolling. But if you tap any letter prefix you get this view.
Now tap on the letter required to accelerate you down to that part of the scroll list. Non coloured tiles indicate you have no apps using that letter of the alphabet.
I am currently using the Nokia Lumia 925, and the only screen customisation is on the home screen. You can tweak the theme colour from white or black background.
After that you can decide what live tile to pin to the home screen and the size from a small square, large square or a rectangular shape that takes up the whole width.
In fact it is possible to spend a good few hours messing around with the look, colour and size options.
The beauty of the Windows Phone home screen is you only need a quick glance to see what’s happening or active or what notifications you have received via social networks, apps or messages. It is a very simple and clear way of viewing activities. I started with the phone app, email, sms, tweets, app.net, WhatsApp, calendar, marketplace, settings, news feeds, blog, Nokia Here Navigation and Maps, Internet Explorer, Nokia PRO and Smart Cam apps, weather, photos, weather, sport, news, podcasts and more. Most of these tiles update constantly providing at a glance information.
It certainly makes the home screen more engaging, than say static icons on the iPhone.
After another day has passed with the Lumia 925, this is what has occurred.
I have installed the following apps – 6sec, Adobe Reader, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Mobile, App Social, BBC iPlayer, Bing News, Bing Sport, Bing Finance, Bing Weather, DotDot, eBay, Flickr, gMaps, Google, HD Photo Viewer, ITN News, LinkedIn, Metrotube, Natwest, Nextgen Reader, Paypal, Photosynth, Podcast Lounge, Podcatcher, Pro Points Calculator, Shopsavvy, Sky News, SkyDrive, Skype, SophieLens for Nokia, thetrainline.com, Topgear News, TripAdvisor, Tunein Radio, TV Guide, TV Catchup, twabbit, Vyclone, Whatsapp , WordPress and Zite. With regards games, I have only installed a few so far – Jetpack Joyride, Mirrors Edge, AE Bubble, CosmosConquest, Temple Run and Word Twist.
As you can see many familiar apps are present. Also don’t forget Nokia include their Pro Cam and Smart Cam camera apps, Nokia Cinemagraph, Nokia Glam Me (I used this for my twitter avatar and lost 10 years and became slimmer), Microsoft Office and OneNote, Panorama, People app that merges if required social networks, Nokia Music (free or paid £3.99pm) streaming service and a great photo editing app Creative Studio.
Over the last few days I have taken many photos and used Creative Studio to edit these. Have a look at the various options available with the camera apps and editing. All photos are in an album on my Flickr. Click here.
The time is displayed permanently on the lock screen when screen off. I really like this. What I did find installing all the apps, is that I eventually got a message that I had reached the maximum 15 background running apps and to allow another app to run in the background I would have to stop another.
I have been using Nokia Maps turn by turn and it works well. Once during the course of a day, it stopped working. I have no idea why either. I also have a live tile for my commute. Tapping on this takes you into commute assistance gps mode. You get turn by turn but without the voice. The live tile updates itself near the commute time to give you a live eta.
I like the live tiles showing me at a glance what’s going on. But I wish there was a notification tile to capture everything from all apps.
I had an issue with a screenshot emailed to myself from my iPad. It displayed as an embedded photo, so I couldn’t detach it. If you email a photo, it is compressed. There is no option either to override this. Apparently, this is for speed and smoothness. However, the workaround is using HD Photo Viewer.
I have turned off SkyDive auto photo upload as in auto mode it reduces file size if on a mobile network. The workaround is to manually select which photos and these stay full size even when using your mobile Internet.
Using Windows Phone is a different experience. In many ways it is far more enjoyable than other operating systems. At times it is too simplistic.
After the screen starting failing on the Samsung Galaxy S4, I decided to have another go at using the Nokia Lumia 925. I really liked it when Nokia kindly sent it on loan previously, so the other day a Lumia 925 arrived in the post.
Some of the features I liked was the Windows Phone 8 interface with live tiles, the fantastic camera and just the way it looks and feels.
So yesterday, I fired up Nokia Navigation and used it all during the day to drive me to destinations I knew really well, just to test the accuracy of the software. Firstly, I was able to download the map of England before I left home, meaning no data charges for downloading the map data as required by Google Maps. In addition, if the reception failed, the navigation would still continue. I also connected the Lumia 925 to my car’s bluetooth. While Nokia Maps was directing me, I streamed Nokia Music. The sound quality was excellent, even better than that of the HTC One.
Later on in the evening, I installed a number of apps and games from HD Photo Viewer, Nextgen Reader, Twabbit and many many more. Twabbit is an excellent twitter app. I then customised my live tiles, and I have everything showing from F1 news, my blog, weather, email, social updates and more.
I am finding gaps in the apps, so this means I have to find other ways of doing things. This works fine most of the time. Except Dropbox support would be helpful. And occasionally, the apps actually work and look better than android and iOS. But there are missing gaps in the app, and I don’t meant instagram.
Let’s see how tomorrow goes.
I am just going to say that the Lumia 925 is so superior to the S4 it’s embarrassing at times.
Below is a photo from the S4.
And standing in the same spot, the same shot from the Lumia 925.
Apart from the more accurate colours on the Lumia 925, it also captures more of the building. It was impossible to step back any further with the S4.
The photo below was not possible with the Samsung S4. The S4 couldn’t capture the entire scene.
So if you want a phone with a good camera the Lumia 925 is the way to go.
Firstly, the Lumia 925 does not have an optical zoom, so zoomed photos will be difficult to compete with. So with this in mind, I took the same photo in perfect lighting conditions to see which phone took the better shot. Auto mode was used for everything.
And now the same shot with the Lumia 925
So what do you think? Can you tell the difference. The Lumia 925 looks better, more vibrant colours, but there is more detail in the S4 Zoom shot. The S4 Zoom shot allows you to zoom in on photo and captures more detail at a higher magnification than the photo by the Lumia 925. But I actually prefer the overall shot from the Lumia 925.
Welcome back again. To recap on the earlier review sections, click here.
In part 4, I am going to comment on areas or features I am enjoying and worth a mention.
1 – The first thing I have noticed is the persistent clock on the lock screen. It is a digital clock and it is always visible. Something so simple, yet so useful, just being able to glance down and read the time, without having to press a button.
2 – Double tapping the screen to unlock the lock screen. A simple idea that just works really well. I also like some of the lock screen options. See screen shot further down of my bird.
3 – Having a dedicated camera button is excellent. Press and hold from the lock screen to fire up the camera, half press to focus and then shoot. Also tapping on the screen to take a photo is another feature I really like.
4 – The camera really does take some smashing photos, both indoors and outdoors. Low light is not much of an issue for the 925 so once again lovely photos are snapped.
5 – Nokia include a large bundle of software from free internet radio music streaming, photo editing, camera tricks, maps and turn by turn navigation to name a few of my highlights.
6 – Google email, contact and calendar worked out of the box
7 – Even though Google mail is available, if you have a Windows Phone you really need to accept you will be drawn towards Microsoft’s products. And that is not as bad thing. You get Office out of the box. Skydrive is Microsofts cloud solution, and I like the idea that my photos are uploaded to it.
8 – Several months ago, I had a Lumia 620, and when I entered my hotmail email, the Lumia 925 restored all my data, including text messages. I was surprised. No apps were restored though.
9. On the app front, I have managed to find all the apps or an equivalent in the Windows Marketplace (app store). It seems to have got a lot better, even in the last 3 months. However, it is not at the maturity of iOS and android. One area that has shot forward is games. NOVA and HALO and now in the app store and there are some new games appearing that are not available on other platforms. However, the app store allows you to trial software, and then if you like you can buy it. Now that is a concept I would like adopted by android and Apple.
10. The menus and layouts. I simply love the large oversized text and screens. Just makes viewing the device that much easier.
11. The keyboard – the best. It is so easy to enter text on the keyboard, and the screen responsive is superb.
12. The negatives are really not the Lumia 925’s fault, but that of Windows Phone 8. It needs a notification centre. Or a live tile that accumulates every missed notification.
13. The design and build of the Lumia 925 is in my opinion stunning.
14. The audio quality through headphones is really excellent. Dolby surround sound is available too. Options like audio levelling are handy. The loudspeaker is ok, a bit tinny.
15. Battery life. Still early days but it seems to me that it can last a day.
16. The only aspect I am not too keen on is the micro usb port being at the top of the device.
17. Memory. The Lumia 925 is 16gb, which had 12gb free after first installation.
In summary, it is a very good phone to use that takes excellent photos.